United Methodist Church
Full Communion Partner since 2009
The Rev. Warner H. Brown, Jr., United Methodist Church, and the Rev. Mark W. Holmerud (ELCA) celebrate together the Full Communion relationship between the ELCA and the United Methodist Church.
U.S. Lutherans and United Methodists first met in 1977 to begin official dialogue. By 1981, this first round of dialogues had produced a common statement between our churches on the Christian sacrament of Baptism; this common statement affirmed the validity of baptism administered in accord with Scripture in our churches. From 1985-1987, a second round of dialogues concluded with a common statement on the role of bishops in each of our church bodies. The conclusions of both Rounds one and two are printed in the volume edited by Jack M. Tuell titled "Episcopacy."
Following earlier successes, September 2001 saw the beginning of a third round of dialogues between the ELCA and the United Methodist Church. The current Lutheran-United Methodist Dialogue first considered the feasibility of recommending a relationship of full communion between our two church bodies. The dialogue team developed a proposal for Interim Eucharistic Sharing between the two churches at its meeting in August, 2004. This step has brought the ELCA and the United Methodist Church closer to a relationship of full communion. The proposal was delivered to the Department for Ecumenical Affairs and was sent to all eight ELCA seminaries. The United Methodist Council of Bishops approved the proposal on May 5, 2005. On August 11, 2005, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted by a very wide margin in favor of the proposal (877-60). Thus, the UMC and the ELCA now share together an agreement of Interim Eucharistic Sharing. The work of our churches stands before us, but what a privilege to work toward Christian unity in the world.